Category Archives: Marketing

Does Blogging Make Sense for Local Home Improvement Companies?

Inbound marketing is the future. We’ve all heard it said a thousand times by now. All companies need to maintain social media accounts, blog regularly and be very active online. Informative, regularly published content will attract readers and online searches and ultimately lead to more business. That sounds about right, but is it true?

Blogging for Home Improvement Companies

Inbound marketing Versus Outbound Marketing

Outbound marketing in simple terms is just advertising. Radio ads, newspaper ads, billboards, signs on work trucks, yellow pages listings, and direct mail are all different types of outbound marketing. A primary characteristic of this type of marketing is that it costs money and it’s often difficult to measure the return on investment.

Inbound marketing, on the other hand, doesn’t cost anything. At least, that’s what many people think. You can put up an informative article on your website and share it on social media for free. It costs absolutely nothing, except the time to do the writing, editing and sharing.

Therein lies the problem, it’s not free at all. Inbound market has costs associated with the time it takes to get your content seen online. If you are a local restaurant or trendy shop, regular time spent on social media can be well worth the investment. However, the investment has to be weighed against other opportunities.

Blogging for Home Improvement Companies

Most marketing people have heard that they need to blog for search engine optimization. Organic searches can bring traffic to your blog and more customers to your business, but it has to be done right.

What you don’t hear the marketing gurus tell you is that writing regular blog posts without proper keyword research, onsite search engine optimization and promotion is often a waste of time.

Imagine you are a Calgary Roofing Company and you write a blog post about “metal roofing”. It’ll show up under a URL structure something like this “/blog/metal-roofing-benefits”.

There is nothing wrong with that if you have a high-traffic website with email subscribers waiting for your next article. Unfortunately, a typical home improvement company probably won’t attract a long term audience like that. People only visit a site like a roofer’s for as long as they are shopping for a roof. Even then, they are not likely to want to join a mailing list.

So what happens to that “Metal Roofing” blog post?

After a while it’ll get buried under a whole bunch of other blog posts and will unlikely to be seen by anyone.

It makes far more sense to have a “Roofing Category” on the main menu and then have a very comprehensive guide on everything you need to know about metal roofs linked from that page.

That is the type of content that  content that has the best opportunity to get shared and bookmarked.

So the moral of the story is, don’t blog. Write comprehensive content and make sure you optimize it very well with a proper title, H1 tag, sub-headings with H2 and H3 tags, emphasized text and a good, keyword rich description and image alt tags. Then do some work to promote it to suppliers and partners.

Connect to Customers by Telling Stories

Companies are beginning to understand that they need to form deeper connections with people if they are to foster lasting brand loyalty. Mass market advertising doesn’t cut it in our hyper-competitive markets.

One of the best ways to form those deep and meaningful connections is to tell stories that resonate with your audience. Not the “we care about quality and service” marketing hype, but real stories about what your company stands for in a way that is authentic and simple enough that they spread.

Azita Ardakani of LoveSocial shared three tips for telling good stories with Shawn Parr on PSFK:

Expand your idea of value.

“When you’re telling your story, people don’t want to hear about how much money you’re making or even how great your product is – they want to hear what you truly care about and the problem you’re solving for the world.”

Establish common language.

“When sharing your story online, consistency is key, and if people—even your own employees—are left to create their own explanations, the output is likely to have a wide array of confusion-causing variance.”

Give your brand a human voice.

“What type of person will best deliver the message of your brand? Think about what they would sound like, what their tone would be like and what type of personality they have. Write down all of their unique attributes and always communicate from the perspective of that person.”

What story is your company telling?

You are definitely communicating some story, whether you are conscious of the fact or not. Rather than leaving your reputation to chance, proactively choose the story you want to convey and make sure everyone in your company has the ability to communicate that message.